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Simon Staffans: What 2014 holds for cross-platform content

TV meets gaming; ad-funded transmedia; multiplatform finally valued... the biggest names in transmedia's predictions for the year

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Quantum Break

Photo: Out later this year, Remedy Games’ Quantum Break is both a video game and a TV series, with interwoven plots. The shape of things to come?

 

As 2013 was drawing to a close, I once again published a wrap-up of what I’d written about during the year, and completed it with interviews with some of the brightest minds of the multiplatform-, cross- and transmedia fields. Many looked back on a year that fulfilled some, but all of promises it had held. Still, there were a lot of positives. Like the emergence of brands as broadcasters, the maturing of online content and the increasing creativity when it comes to cross- and multiplatform. For a look at all the projects discussed in the publication, a comprehensive list can be found here.

A prevalent feeling I got from everyone I talked to was an eagneress to get going with this year, 2014, a year that holds the promise of bringing some exciting stuff to everyone’s plate.

 

Jeff Gomez of Starlightrunner Entertainment saw a world where risktaking is becoming possible to avert, through the leveraging of the story and the storyworld:

“More than ever before, pervasive media makes it possible to strike partnerships and build brands modestly. When you generate a book, an app, a comic, you are adding ‘points’ to the viability of your property in big media. If those products do well and earn fan bases, more points! A script over the transom is ethereal; a small array of products that establish a connection with paying fans is far more valuable. I think we’re going to see new models, which leverage transmedia techniques that make us stronger players and reward us with bigger slices of the pie.”

 

Nuno Bernardo of beActive looked forward to a year when ad funding gets back on its feet and adapts a multiplatform approach to a higher degree:

“One of the great possibilities of 2014 is the recovery of the advertising market.  […] With the economical recovery, I hope to see a new wave of ad-funded transmedia projects in the market. The challenges are still related to funding: our industry real needs to shift from platform funding (funding only for one specific platform) to a more multiplatform funding approach, where what they are funding is the Intellectual Property itself, and not just the derivation of that I.P. in one platform.”

 

The executive director of the IWCC, Carrie Cuthforth-Young, talked about a world where even the “new players” are becoming the “old players” at an exceedingly rapid rate, and where producers will try to imitate successes from 2013:

“… there will be an explosion of literary adaptations banked from the success of Lizzie Bennet Diaries (that’s happening already). It’s really hard to predict. Two years ago people would have insisted that YouTube HAD to be your primary, if not your only platform. That has radically changed particularly this last year.  Maker’s announcement of buying Blip is definitely a game changer, but who knows what will spring from this.”

 

Finally, Gary Hayes, director of Storylabs, looked forward to a world where location-aware content matures and fuses with the internet of things, opening up great new possibilities for storytellers:

“[I’m] really hoping for more games like the Ingress.com MMLG  (massively multiplayer location game) to come along and inspire a new generation that looks at things like Foursquare or walk around audio tours or other social utility services and yawn. I can see this overlap with an increase in the zeitgeist around the internet of things. Products, places and people become trackable and recognisable and associated with big data (anonymously of course), allowing storytellers to utilise the data for much more profoundly integrated works. In that way, the mechanic for a game like Watchdogs (out in January) becomes available to everyone, and we’re able to tap into big data  systems and flow stories through it.”

 

And, pray tell, what do I look forward to? Well, there are many things to get excited about, from taking part of new humongous productions like Game of Thrones, the next installments in the Avengers and X-Men, and Remedy’s attempt to fuse television and Xbox gaming with Quantum Break series, to following how industries like publishing will continue their work to bridge the gaps to other media fields. And I look thoroughly forward to interacting with a lot of brilliant minds, not least at the MIP Digital Fronts event at MIPTV in April. Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

MediaCity Finland‘s Simon Staffans is a frequent contributor to MIPBlog. Be sure to follow him on Twitter!

 

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